Tony Elumelu Gets Presidential Commendation For  S100m SMEs’ Support

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu has lauded Tony Elumelu for the impact his foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has had on young people and SMEs in Nigeria and beyond since its inception in 2010.

He also implored Africans, including its political and business leaders, to look inwards instead of undue reliance on international donor funds.

He spoke at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Generation Unlimited (GENU) Breakfast Roundtable meeting, a side event at the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York,on Tuesday.

The event also served as a forum for the launch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Impact Report titled “The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship
Programme: A Decade of Impact.”

Tinubu,who was represented by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite, also emphasized the need for local solutions to economic growth and unemployment, while offering incentives to willing investors

He lamented over reliance by Africans on foreign donors, calling for an end to that mindset.

He said: “I don’t think we are doing enough as Africans for Africa. We need to do a lot more. Tony Elumelu has been the major person driving investments in supporting the youths and start-ups.

“We need to challenge ourselves a bit more further. Africa has some of the richest people on the planet. We have a resource-rich continent with huge population of young people.

“We need to take up the challenge upon ourselves as Africans to support one another. It is about time we stopped looking for international organisations for donor funding. We need to go out of that mentality.

“We will rather have donor funds coming in to support what we have on ground already and not then coming to give us a seed or showing us the way. We actually know how to do things. In Africa, we have a rich culture and if we go back to our tradition, there is a whole lot we can learn from each other.”

Speaking on the import of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),he said they were the engines of Nigerian and African economic growth, adding that they contributed almost half of national GDP, and more than 80 percent of employment.

Wooing potential investors with promises of right infrastructure provision such as regulations, property rights, access to justice, protection from unfair competition, power, as well as roads to market and ports,Tinubu said: “We must organise the disorganised SME market, and enable greater organisation and formalization.

“We must invest in SMEs. Governments and the private sector have important roles to play in this regard. Our investing must be coordinated, targeted, and generous. This is where the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a worthy role model for all.

“We must create and expand pathways for our SMEs to export their products and services and integrate into global value chains.”

Speaking,Founder TEF, Tony
Elumelu said this highlights the significant contribution of the TEF’s flagship 100 million dollars Entrepreneurship Programme in advancing Africa’s socio-economic development.

He noted that 13 years ago, the foundation took a bold step to rewrite and change Africa by enhancing entrepreneurship development to galvanize African solutions.

He spoke on the seed capital, training and mentoring and networking provided by TEF, adding that: “We have lit a beacon, and we need the beacon to shine brighter and better. To do this, we need the support and collaboration of everyone.

“100 million dollars is a drop of water in the ocean compared to what we need in Africa. Young Africans need economic support. We’ve seen the devastating effect of climate change, how our young ones due to hopelessness are migrating and living in difficult situations. We want to put a stop to that.”

Elumelu emphasized the need for collaboration to prioritize young Africans, bring more women to economic activities and alleviate poverty, adding that “poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere”.

Sharing the Lagos experience at the gathering, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that TEF’s work aligns with Lagos State programmes on economic empowerment and poverty reduction.

Sanwo-Olu said that collaborative efforts must be evolved to enhance the scale of impact to deepen inclusion, equity and fairness.

Also speaking, Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa (UNDP) said they partnered TEF due to similar belief in galvanising development across Africa and globally, adding that Africa’s wealth was its population, which constitutes 70 per cent of young, vibrant and innovative Africans.

“It is our loss if we don’t invest in them because that is the future of prosperity,” she said, just as she called for enhanced collaboration and investment to strengthen economic development of African youths.

In her address,TEF’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Somachi Chris-Asoluka, said the organisation is the partner of choice for all development agencies across the world who want to transform the way they give to Africa, who want to have a more catalytic, impactful partnership with the African continent.

She said: “The Tony Elumelu foundation is a leading philanthropy in Africa empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries.

“We launched our flagship program, the Tony Elumelu foundation Entrepreneurship programme in 2015 with a $100 million commitment by Mr Elumelu and his family.

“His goal was to see 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years, in only eight years, we have more than surpassed that target so date.

“We have funded 18,000 entrepreneurs, disbursing over a 100 million dollars directly as seed capital to these entrepreneurs and they have gone on to create over 400 thousand jobs across all African countries.”

EKEDC Bags ISO 27001 Certification In Information Security Management System

Mohammed Shosanya

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), has attained another milestone with the conferment of internationally recognized certification in Information Security Management System, ISO 27001:2013.

The ISO 27001 certification is the global standard for information security management systems that ensures that organizations keep information assets secure by building an information security infrastructure against loss, damage, theft, and other threats to information assets.

The Management Team of EKEDC and Leitung Gate Limited at the presentation of the Certificate last Friday,at EKEDC’s Headquarters in Marina, Lagosa statement said.

Managing Director/CEO of EKEDC, Dr Tinuade Sanda, was thrilled to receive the certification after a rigorous audit process by internationally certified auditors based in India, Syndicate of International System Certifications (SIS Cert.) in conjunction with Leitung Gate Limited, who provided all the needed support. She added that it is a testament to the Company’s commitment to the highest security, ethical and professional standards.

She added:”It is quite remarkable that we can achieve this after a meticulous exercise by the certifying body. I am particularly pleased with my team’s support throughout the audit process. I also want to appreciate the special workgroup and champions who saw this through. I am humbled to lead this great group of dedicated and talented individuals.”

Speaking,the Chief Information Officer of EKEDC, JP Attueyi, disclosed that the certification is awarded to organizations that have implemented a framework of policies and procedures that systematically manage and protect sensitive data.

He further expressed the company’s dedication to attaining the best-in-class certifications and implementing global best practices in all areas of its business.

He said, “As technology advances, it is essential that we provide appropriate security for all information entrusted to us by our esteemed customers and other stakeholders. I want to reassure all our customers, partners and other stakeholders that the information we gather is treated with utmost confidentiality in accordance with the ISO 27001 standards.”

How Gulder Lager Beer Is Adding Value To Lives Of Distributors,Retailers In Nigeria

Gulder Lager Beer, a household name in Nigeria’s alcoholic beverage industry,has reiterated its commitment to changing lives in Nigeria.

The spotlight shone brightly at the Gulder Ultimate Reward event held on Tuesday, at the Lascofis Bar in Ogba, Lagos. The event, which will be etched in the minds of stakeholders for a long time, is a further testament to the transformative power of loyalty, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence.

Gulder honoured its esteemed partners, who have played pivotal roles in the brand’s journey to excellence. The selected 15 retailers received ten crates of Gulder, while the ten winners in the regions were presented with 42-inch television sets, generator sets, and deep freezers.

Four sub-distributors, the unsung heroes ensuring Gulder reaches every corner of Nigeria, were each rewarded with fifty crates of Gulder and Tricycles, a token of appreciation for their indispensable contributions. The winners were selected across Benin, Ibadan Lagos-North, and Lagos-South regions respectively.

But,the crowning moment of the event arrived with the announcement of the prestigious Grand Prize – a brand new IVM Ikenga car was presented to Taofeek Shodiya of Tasho Limited, a long-committed distributor to Gulder’s success. His extraordinary journey and steadfast dedication to Gulder underscore the brand’s enduring message that loyalty and dedication have the power to elevate lives.

Alhaji Tasho, speaking about his experience, expressed, “Being a Gulder distributor is the best decision I ever made. It’s not just about business; it’s about being part of a family that rewards dedication and hard work. This car is not just a prize; it’s a symbol of the opportunities that Gulder provides to change lives.”

“Gulder Lager Beer has always been more than a beverage; it’s a symbol of strength, determination, and the extraordinary. At the heart of our success are the dedicated partners who have embraced these values.,” stated Chima Dim, Brand Manager, Non-Lager and Craft, Nigerian Breweries.

“We have come to be known as a home brand, a go-to brand for, family, entertainment, and relaxation. Our success story has been one encapsulated and driven by those of our consumers and distributors, and that is why The Gulder Ultimate Reward event is not just a celebration; it’s a testament to the life-changing impact of loyalty and dedication. We are proud to say that being a Gulder distributor is not just a business decision; it’s a journey of transformation, and we look forward to many more shared successes,” he added.

Gulder remains dedicated to providing remarkable experiences and shaping the lives of its partners. The Gulder Ultimate Reward will continue to inspire and motivate partners to reach new heights while reaffirming the brand’s belief that loyalty and dedication are the keys to changing lives.

Inflation:Jumia’s Customer Base Drops By 28.1%

Mohammed Shosanya

Africa’s e-commerce company, Jumia, has revealed a significant 28.1% drop in its customer base in its second quarter financial results.

It attributed the decline to the debilitating impact of inflation on its primary operational markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Egypt.

Its active consumer count plummeted by 1 million year-on-year, settling at 2.4 million in Q2 2023 compared to the 3.4 million registered during the same period the previous year.

Besides, Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), indicating the total value of goods sold on the platform, experienced a sharp 25.1% decrease, dwindling from $271.1 million in Q2 2022 to $202.3 million in Q2 2023.

These results follow Jumia’s recording of accumulated losses of approximately $2 billion in the third quarter of 2022.

The platform’s orders for products also took a down turn, plummeting by 36.5%. In a direct comparison, the company went from processing 10.3 million orders in Q2 2022 to a mere 6.5 million in the same period this year.

Speaking,Jumia Group’s CEO, Francis Dufay, emphasized that despite the dip in revenue and dwindling customer numbers, the company remains steadfast in its pursuit of loss reduction and the journey toward profitability.

He said:“In the second quarter of 2023, both Adjusted EBITDA and Operating losses decreased by 66% year-over-year, reaching the lowest loss levels in over 4 years.”

He announced an updated Adjusted EBITDA loss guidance for the entirety of 2023, now projected at $90-100 million, a revision from the previous estimate of $100-120 million. He explained, “We are navigating challenging macro conditions with discipline and focus, doubling down on our efficiency efforts.”

Dufay acknowledged the hardships posed by inflation in Nigeria, Ghana, and Egypt, emphasizing the erosion of purchasing power among consumers in these markets.

Kaduna Electric Boss Advocates Digital Transformation Of Utilities Sector      

Mohammed Shosanya
Managing Director of Kaduna Electric,Engr. Yusuf Usman Yahaya,has advocated strong need for the digital transformation of the Nigerian utility sector
He made the advocacy in his keynote address titled,’Bird’s Eye view  on the  digital transformation of the Nigeria utilities sector”,presented at the Power and Water conference in Lagos
He also  advised on the need to prioritize cybersecurity measures to safeguard  critical infrastructure in the utility sector from potential threats.
According to him,operators in the sector must ensure inclusivity and bridge the digital divide, making these digital advancements accessible to all citizens, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographic location.
In order to achieve success in digital transformation,there must be  partnership  between public and private stakeholders for successful digital transformation and robust regulatory frameworks that foster innovation and investment.
There must be resilience against cyber threats and maintaining data privacy as well as leveraging digital transformation for economic growth and socioeconomic development,he said.
He added:”The journey towards a digitally-enabled utilities sector requires collaboration between public and private stakeholders, regulatory frameworks that promote innovation and investment, and the development of a skilled workforce that can harness the power of emerging technologies.
“The digital transformation of the Nigerian utility sector is not an option but a necessity. It is an opportunity to redefine how we manage and utilize our resources, foster sustainable economic growth, and improve the quality of life for all Nigerians.
“As we navigate this transformative journey, let us foster collaboration, embrace innovation, and empower our citizens to become active participants in shaping the future of our utilities sector. Together, we can create a more efficient, resilient, and sustainable Nigeria for generations to come”

Mohammed Shosanya

A reputation capital consultancy and strategic communications company, C & F Porter Novelli, has been appointed to manage the public relations account of Daikin Industries, a global leader in the manufacture of high-quality air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and refrigeration products (HVAC-R), across major African markets.

Daikin Industries is the global leader in developing and manufacturing advanced, high-quality air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and refrigeration products (HVAC-R) and solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

Founded in Japan in 1924, the company strives to combine expertise and experience to create new innovative technologies by anticipating the future requirements of customers and societies wherein it operates.

Speaking on the new business relationship, Chief Executive Office, C&F Porter Novelli, Tony Ajero said: “Organizations such as Daikin that have built multi-generational brands and elevated them into iconic status deserve every respect and adulation. We are indeed, humbled to be appointed strategic communications partners to this formidable organization and will continually justify the confidence which Daikin, and other international brands, has reposed in C&F Porter Novelli

“As a consultancy, we have grown to become the central coordinating hub for the Porter Novelli network in West Africa, and with strategic alliances across the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) markets, we are well positioned to manage the Daikin business across Africa. Daikin’s rich history assures it is a clear long-term partner for Africa. It is here for the people, will grow with the people of the region, and we shall be by their side all the way.”

With over 25 years of experience and having drawn from the legacy Porter Novelli network of over 50 years, C&F Porter Novelli combines in-depth understanding of the Nigerian and other West African markets with 360° strategic communication skills and a commitment to standards of excellence to influence those that matter most to their clients.

The result is a strong reputation capital that delivers measurable and competitive business results for its clients through transparent actions.Daikin values the African communities that have welcomed is as its corporate citizens and its fundamental belief in giving back to the community further stems the foundation of solid growth in the region, which is why it is embarking on this foray into the African Market.

Daikin & DaiTech Unveil New Flagship Facility In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya
Daikin, a global innovator and provider of advanced, high-quality air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and refrigeration (HVAC-R) products and solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, and in partnership with DaiTech Nigeria Limited, unveiled the new flagship facility, having retail and commercial sales, service and training centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Centre, called Daitech Solutions Centre, is located at Greenville Plaza, 10 Adeola Odeku Street Victoria Island,Lagos.

The new Daitech Solutions Centre in Lagos will showcase a wide range of Daikin air conditioning products, including split and multi-split systems, ducted systems, air purifiers, and VRV systems for residential, business, and industrial applications,a statement said.

“We are delighted to open our new DaiTech Solutions Centre in Lagos, which will offer our customers the opportunity to experience first-hand the quality, comfort and energy efficiency of Daikin HVAC systems,” said Mr. Suraj Rupani, CEO of DaiTech Nigeria Limited, the authorized distributor of Daikin in Nigeria.

“With our state-of-the-art facility, we aim to provide our customers with the best possible air conditioning solutions for their homes, businesses and other applications.The new facility will provide customers with a comfortable and informative environment to explore and learn about the latest Daikin air conditioning products and solutions. Knowledgeable sales staff will be on hand to provide expert advice and help customers find the best air conditioning solutions for their specific needs”

The premises also has a training centre, fully equipped with air conditioners, tools and installation equipment from Daikin factories. This training facility will be a center of activity for generations of aspiring HVAC engineers in Nigeria.Tuna Gulenc, Vice President at Daikin MEA said:

‘’Daikin’s focus to Nigeria signifies our commitment to meeting the increasing demands of the market in line with our Africa expansion and localization plans. Through the new facility opening, we aim to address the specific needs of the Nigerian customers by introducing cutting-edge technologies and products that guarantee optimal air quality, unparalleled comfort, and remarkable energy efficiency. We are excited to extend our partnership with DaiTech offering top-tier air conditioning systems that prioritize both performance and environmental considerations.

’’To celebrate the grand opening of the Centre, DaiTech will offer a special discount up to 10% off on all its products for a period of two weeks from 1st June till 14th June 2023.”We look forward to welcoming our customers to our DaiTech Centre and demonstrating how Daikin air conditioning systems can help them achieve a comfortable, energy-efficient and healthy indoor environment,” said Mr. Rupani.

Henkel Amplifies Support For Women Mental Health

Mohammed Shosanya

Henkel, a leading multinational consumer goods business committed to empowering its employees, has organized an exclusive event for its female workforce to encourage mental health advocacy.

The gathering, titled “Empowering Women: Unlocking Mental Health Potential for a Balanced Life,” was a resounding success, fostering an environment of support, connection, and growth. It brought together Henkel Nigeria’s esteemed female workforce in an atmosphere of enlightenment, support, and solidarity.

The event was targeted at women only due to the unique challenges faced by women and their heightened vulnerability to mental health issues.

Yomi Wilcox, founder of Iya Henry, captivated the audience with her understanding of mental health challenges faced by women and offered practical strategies for managing and overcoming them.

Wilcox also emphasised the need for professionals to avoid being gripped by fear and anxiety, especially when dealing with complex projects in their work environment.

Nkem Offonabo, a prominent advocate for work-life balance and founder of the acclaimed Work Life Balance organization, graced the stage as another speaker.

Offonabo shared her expertise and strategies to achieve harmony between work responsibilities and personal well-being. Her guidance provided attendees with practical tools to navigate the demands of a modern-day lifestyle without compromising their mental health.

Offonabo took the women through an exercise themed the “Wheel of Life” which enabled participates recalibrate and prioritize their mental health.

Speaking at the event, Chidera Akwuba, Transformation Manager at Henkel Nigeria, highlighted the significance of mental health prioritization for women.

She emphasized the importance of self-care, resilience, and seeking support when needed.

She added:“At Henkel Nigeria, we remain committed to the advancement of the welfare of women and dedicated to helping them reach their full potential by ensuring they achieve a balanced work and personal life.

“We are also passionate about women. We want to understand the unique challenges faced by women and provide valuable insights to enhance their well-being to create a more supportive and inclusive environment in the workplace.”

Akwuba reiterated to the attendees the company’s policies which guarantee diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in its operations, including the protection of women and all employees at the workplace.

Rajat Kapur, Managing Director of Henkel Nigeria, expressed his enthusiasm and full support for the event, stating, “At Henkel Nigeria, we believe that investing in the well-being of our employees is not just a responsibility but a strategic imperative. We are committed to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment where our female employees can thrive. By organizing this event, we aim to raise awareness about mental health and equip our women with the tools and knowledge to lead balanced and fulfilling lives.”

The event facilitated an enriching environment where the female employees of Henkel Nigeria were able to connect with one another on a profound level. Through engaging discussions, participants shared their personal stories, challenges, and triumphs, further strengthening the bonds within the organization.

The support and solidarity generated at the event serve as a solid foundation for ongoing initiatives aimed at nurturing mental well-being among Henkel Nigeria’s valued female workforce.

Henkel Nigeria said it understands that a balanced life encompasses both physical and mental well-being. By championing mental health awareness through this exclusive event, Henkel Nigeria demonstrates its dedication to the holistic empowerment of its employees.

MultiChoice Group Move To Launch New Payment Platform In Africa

Tunde Sholanke

MultiChoice Group, Rapyd and General Catalyst,have announced a joint venture aimed at developing an integrated payment platform for Africa.

The joint venture will operate under a new company, called Moment,according to a statement on Monday,which also said Moment offers expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa to help them collect and make payments easier, quicker, and more affordable in any manner that their buyers or suppliers prefer.

The statement added that,Moment will also offer additional options for consumers to spend and save money more wisely. The aim is to transform the African payments landscape by making digital payments more accessible and reliable for domestic, cross-border and global payments.

“We are excited about our venture with Rapyd and General Catalyst. It will address the need for an accessible and reliable payment platform for many small businesses and millions of consumers in Africa. Investing in this venture is a logical progression for us, as we already process payments every month from 22 million households across 50 countries in Africa. Moment fulfills our strategy to expand our ecosystem, by investing in adjacent businesses that provide scalable services, underpinned by technology”, said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO.

Moment will consolidate the $3.5B in payments that the MultiChoice Group processes annually to expand options for subscribers and make payment processes efficiently, as well as extend Africa’s most complete payment network to African and global businesses.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with MultiChoice and our network partners to provide Africa’s most complete payment platform for businesses through Moment. Africa is one of the most exciting markets in the world – with tremendous opportunities to expand the use of digital payments, drive cash payments to real-time digital payments, and to capitalise on the tremendous entrepreneurial drive of African businesses,” says Arik Shtilman, CEO of Rapyd.

“Africa represents one of the most exciting investment opportunities for global investors. Over the next 20 years, most of the population growth of the world will be happening in Africa, along with increasing urbanisation. African consumers and businesses are not only moving business online, but will be the labour force for the world across the next 20 years,” adds Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners.

The long-term plan is to provide the infrastructure for pan-African payments for the 44 million small businesses operating on the continent. It is also to turn the 90% of retail transactions that are currently taking place in cash, into digital payments. Moment aims to make digital transactions more accessible to the 350 million consumers that are underbanked or not banked at all.

“Moment gives MultiChoice another opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the economic development of the African continent. It will play a key role in accelerating cash-to-digital payments for all consumers and businesses and making the continent more investment ready for global players, by connecting payments from Africa to the world,” Mawela added.

Modion Communications Wins Charterhouse Lagos Account

Tunde Sholanke

Charterhouse Lagos, the first British independent school in West Africa, has selected

Modion Communications Limited,has been selected as the Public Relations Agency of
Charterhouse Lagos, the first British independent school in West Africa.

The agency won the account after a formal review, according to Odion Aleobua, Chief Executive Officer of Modion Communications.

He said:“I am honoured to announce that Modion Communications has been entrusted with the incredible opportunity to steer the marketing communications strategy for Charterhouse Lagos, one of the United Kingdom’s foremost academic establishments with over 400 years of prestigious educational heritage.

“Winning the pitch against highly competitive PR and marketing agencies was no easy feat. It was an exhilarating challenge that pushed us to redefine excellence and go the extra mile. But today, I am humbled and proud, knowing that our vision and strategic approach resonated with John Todd and his team at Charterhouse Lagos.

“As the Chief Executive Officer of Modion Communications, I cannot express enough gratitude for this remarkable achievement. It is a testament to our talented team’s relentless dedication and creative prowess. Our hard work, passion, and commitment to delivering exceptional results have paid off, and we are ready to embark on this transformative journey with Charterhouse Lagos.

“At Modion Communications, we understand the power of education in shaping a brighter future. Charterhouse Lagos’ tireless commitment to providing premium education aligns perfectly with our values. Together, we are poised to profoundly impact Nigeria’s educational landscape, empowering the youth to unlock their full potential and confidently pursue their dreams.”